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  1. New Perspective, Familiar Faces

    CHEF MARK "GOOCH" NOGUCHI

    Those lucky enough to try Chef Gooch's cooking get to experience the taste of traditional Hawai‘i. These days, Gooch is known almost as much for his leadership in Hawai‘i's sustainable food movement as he is for his exceptional culinary skills.

    Gooch's "On the Go" Shoes: Makia Lace

    LINDSEY HIGA

    With her unique fusion of laid back island chic and city tomboy looks, O‘ahu native Lindsey Higa is a well-known personality in the world of wardrobe styling and fashion blogging.

    Lindsey's "Go Anywhere" Shoe: Pehuea

    AUSTIN KINO

    From his ten years as a crew member and apprentice navigator on the iconic voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a, to the recent founding of Holokino - a Hawaiian canoe sailing experience on O‘ahu's south shore - Austin Kino is dedicated to the preservation of Hawaiian culture, history, and ocean education.

    Austin's "Shoe to Move": Nohea Moku

    DANIEL IKAIKA ITO

    Ito, as he's known to his friends, is a renowned journalist who loves to tell Hawai‘i's stories. He's also the Founding President of the Hawaiian Journalism Association, helping up and coming journalists navigate their way through the industry. Thanks to his work, the indigenous culture of Hawai‘i is increasingly understood both on its shores and beyond.

    Ito's Go-To Shoe: Makia

  2. Class in Session: Dispatches from Archie Kalepa

    IMG_2924Archie Kalepa, who is one of Hawaiʻi’s most accomplished watermen, serves as Konohiki (caretaker) for the OluKai marketing team, and is a crew member on the  Polynesian Voyaging Society's Hōkūleʻa as a part of its Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

    The Hōkūleʻa is now in Durban, South Africa, waiting to finish the third leg of the Voyage, which stretches from New Zealand to Namibia. Archie Kalepa will be sending us regular blog posts while on the Hōkūleʻa. Here is his most recent post, describing the trip from Mauritius to South Africa.

    Class is in session; our crew left Mauritius on October 4th with calm seas and a nice steady wind coming out of the Southeast at about 4:30pm that afternoon. Things have been pretty good for our crew as far as sailing is concerned up until about the 8th of October.  The skies were red, almost as if a giant dust storm was happening on the ocean.  Nainoa tells us land is near, Madagascar.  In my mind I began to wonder what is that because I have never seen that before:  it wasn’t a red sunset that we know back home in Hawai’i, it was low to the horizon and the sun wasn’t quite low enough to create that kind of red sky.  It looked like a red dust storm on the ocean, what came next was what I felt inside of me or should I say my instinct: “we were in class.”  Weather got rough, winds blowing about 30 knots and sometimes gusting up to just under 40 knots from the Northeast.

    Was this a lesson to get the crew gelling and working together like a well-oiled machine?  It was totally that to say the least.

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    We decided it wasn’t safe for Hōkūleʻa to pull into the harbor of Madagascar “Port Taolagnaro,” so we sailed through the night around to the leeward side.  Madagascar is the 4th biggest island in the world and a big part of our Polynesian roots.  The next morning we gave our respects to the Island of Madagascar with a Hawaiian Oli, lead by PWO Kālepa Baybayan and Billy Richards.  Billy also had a Koʻi  (Hawaiian Adze) that touched the water; we’re talking a couple of thousand years of voyaging history. Literally right after dipping the Koʻi into the ocean, a young Koholā (whale) leaps as far as it can reach out of the ocean, about 100m directly in front of us. The Koholā is Hōkūleʻa’s ʻAumakua (Guardian).

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    We are now out of the Indian Ocean and into the Mozambique Channel. This is where I began to feel alive as I look to the Southwest: “something is brewing.”  Big Open Ocean swells - this I know; this I understand.  I have spent most of my life as a Lifeguard and a Big Wave surfer knowing and understanding this cycle of weather.  This canoe, Hōkūleʻa, truly is a classroom.  Everyday this crew is constantly learning, teaching, and sharing whether it is from each other or what Mother Nature is showing us.  The more we allow our minds to take in, to understand how it is all connected - the more caring we become of this place we all call home, planet Earth.

  3. Anywhere Aloha launches in Los Angeles

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    Proving that Aloha is not bound by geography, OluKai gathered friends, family, media, key retailers and influencers on Thursday, March 5th as the brand publicly launched its spring '15 #AnywhereAloha campaign in Los Angeles. This VIP event featured a live mural painted by two revered artists, campaign installations and a spring '15 product showcase.

    Olukai21Demonstrating the simplest connections binding all of Island Earth, the three part campaign came to life through décor, food and drink which represented aspects of each of the three stories' locations: Miami, Oregon and Joshua Tree. The night's main focal point centered around the artistic collaboration of campaign character and long-time konohiki, Kamea Hadar, the Honolulu-based co-leader of the Pow! Wow! Hawaii Arts Community, and renowned Los Angeles-based artist, Tristan Eaton, who's work can be seen in galleries around the world and in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), as they partnered on a live mural. At the end of the evening, an awe-struck crowd witnessed a mural "white out", truly making this incredible artist's collaboration an evanescent moment you had to be there to experience.Olukai07"Anywhere Aloha is about celebrating the spirit of Hawaii that exists in communities everywhere. Tonight was a beautiful collaboration between two distinct artists sharing the cultural story of two Hawaiian goddess'," said Kerry Konrady director of marketing at OluKai. "The white out was the exclamation point on the night, a true 'had to be there' moment witnessed by only those in attendance."Olukai24#AnywhereAloha is an experiential and content-creation initiative that celebrates inspirational individuals and encourages cultural collaboration, pairing three Hawaiians with three like-minded non-Hawaiians (two explorers, two surfers and two artists) who were sent on creative, inspiring adventures to far-flung corners of the map to document and spread the spirit of Aloha.Olukai26The stories will be told through our national advertising partners both in digital and print, on social channels, as well as live on a dedicated #AnywhereAloha landing page on OluKai.com. To watch the adventures, please visit: www.olukai.com/anywherealoha.

  4. Fantastic Voyage

    We hope you all enjoyed the holidays, here is a short video from our friends on the Hōkūleʻa. For more information on the World Wide Voyage please visit http://www.hokulea.com/

     
  5. Mele Jingle Mingle

    OluKai was happy to host a holiday party in Honolulu. at The MODERN HONOLULU. The event,  “Mele Jingle Mingle” was a celebration to thank our media partners, retailers, and Hawaiian ambassadors for their partnership throughout the year.  The highlight of the evening was a live, digital mural by artist and friend of the brand, Kamea Hadar.

    Mele Kalikimaka!

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  6. Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Races

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    The Queen Lili'uokalani Canoe Races took place along the Kona Coast and the historic bays of Kailua, Keauhou, Kealakekua and Honaunau where over 2,500 paddlers from all over the Hawaiian Islands and the world came to participate in this monumental race. This three-day canoe race started in 1972, named in honor of the last reigning monarch of Hawaii - Queen Lili'uokalani, represents a cultural connection to the history of the Hawaiian people.

    "This race brings paddlers together from all over the world who want to be a part of this great race here in Kona." "Queen Lili'uokalani Long Distance Races are about sharing the spirit of Hawaiian outrigger canoe racing with the world" stated Bo Campos, president of the Kai Opua Canoe Club, which hosts the event. A new event was added on Thursday, the Hulakai OC4 sprint relay race which added to the collection of weekend activities. On Saturday single hull races, including the Ironman division took place. The double hull races, one and two person races,standup paddleboard and teen single hull races were set for Sunday, with the Alii Challenge concluding the slate of events on Monday. OluKai was proud to take part in this event, unifying competitors and attendees with the Hawaiian spirit in the midst of a majestic setting.

  7. Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike

    Photo Aug 25, 12 03 15 AM

    Most people head to famous Hanauma Bay on Oahu's southeastern shore for its amazing snorkeling and pristine beach. The marine nature preserve is widely considered one of the best snorkeling spots in the world. Few people realize that there is also a very nice hike that traverses the ridgeline above the bay and takes hikers to the end of Pai'olu'olu Point. There is a paved path leading from the Hanauma Bay parking lot that follows the ridgeline and eventually takes you to the top of Photo Aug 25, 12 04 48 AMthe hill near some radio and cell towers. There are breathtaking birds eye views of the bay below and, on the opposite side of the ridge, you can see Diamond Head, Hawaii Kai and the beautiful blue waters of Maunalua Bay. During the winter months, you can see whales swim between Oahu and Molokai from the ridge. Once the pavement ends, there is dirt and loose gravel path that heads downhill to the east and out to the end of Pai'olu'olu Point. Despite being an easily accessible hike in Honolulu, it's not crowded and you will have lots of solitude while taking in the gorgeous views.

  8. A Journey From Mauka To Makai

    Every May, OluKai and the local Maui ‘Ohana take time to work the ‘aina (land) after completing our two day ocean festival called Ho’olaule’a. This year our Giveback Partner, Maui Cultural Lands, arranged for our group to spend time in an upper native forest area called Wao Akua (Realm of Gods) where it is purported man is not meant to live.

    As we ascended the mountain’s rugged terrain, it became clear this was no pedestrian journey, rather a 2,500 foot vertical climb into one of Hawaii’s most extreme environments. The Kaheawa Windfarm is a location with such powerful wind torque that its 168-foot tall windmills are the shortest in existence in the world.

    It is captivating observing a single windmill up close, the 115-foot blades whistling along at 27 MPH. And quite impressive when you consider the 34 total windmills generate over a third of electric power demand on Maui.

    After navigating several seemingly impassable stretches up the 4x4 vehicle-only-road, with muddy tires slurping up and down each rutted out section, we reach our destination in Wao Akua. The torrential sideways rain, wind and cold air, unimaginable as we left the 85 degree sunny beach just a short time ago, makes for a laughable intensity, after all we are in Hawaii still, right?

    Our group piles from our vehicles, trying to ready ourselves for the mission of the day: planting 30 Koa trees in this majestic mountainous region. Amongst the 75+ people in attendance are several retailer partners from the mainland, local volunteers as well as OluKai employees. Everyone seems a bit out of place with the weather, but eager to accomplish our tree-planting goal.

    People often ask us why we make high-grade, rugged work boots with all-weather outsoles and water resistant characteristics. The day was living proof of how variant the climates of Hawaii can be, requiring a set of footwear tools appropriate for severe weather conditions.

    After about two hours of wet, muddy hard work to clear the required ten-foot diameters of soil, the team successfully planted the Koa trees into the majestic grasslands. Koa planting is a very traditional act, albeit with limited immediate gratification - in 70 years the trees would be large enough to harvest to carve into a traditional Hawaiian canoe!

    It was only after the last tree was planted that we began to contemplate our way off of the mountain. Since our arrival we had endured a steady stream of wind and rain, making already slippery road conditions even worse, and with several steep climbs to make back to the main road, we realized our biggest challenge still lay ahead.

    After several unsuccessful attempts to clear a rather steep, muddy and rutted out section of the trail, we realized the 4x4 vehicles were useless against Mother Nature. As the situation sank in, our group dynamic changes from cultural volunteerism to a wilderness rescue teamwork. Between members of Maui Cultural Lands, Hawaiian Lifeguards and guests from a few of the country’s best outdoor specialty retailers, the mental transition occured naturally and everyone began to work their way out of the situation as a collective unit.

    There is a saying we’ve learned from studying Hawaiian history, Pupukahi I Holomua: unite in order to progress. It was inspiring to see everyone join together in this spirit to help the collective group achieve our impromptu goal: ensuring everyone got off the mountain safely.

    After a successful decent back down at Papalaua beach, the scene was surreal as the most intensely colorful rainbow came out of the mountains and touched down on the ocean. Perhaps a symbolic and thankful gift from the Gods of Wao Akua that our mission was complete.

  9. Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic

    For two weekends in February, OluKai was invited to participate in the annual Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic at Makaha Beach on Oahu. This event has become a collective expression of giving back for the past 38 years and is recognized internationally among the surfing community. Over 130 surfers, canoe surfers and body boarders participated in the event, and over 4,000 families camped along the beach throughout the weekends. Two of the most popular events were canoe surfing and the always fun SUPsquaching. Winners from the contests walked away with OluKai products and were beyond excited to be part of this tradition.  OluKai would like to thank the Keaulana Ohana for allowing us to participate and we look forward to future Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classics!

    For more information about the Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic visit: http://www.buffalosurfingclassic.com/

  10. OluKai's "Tribute to the Legends"

    This past weekend, February 7-9, 2014, Olukai was honored to host the "Tribute to the Legends" at Turtle Bay Resort on O'ahu's North Shore. The three day event honored the achievements of legendary Hawaiian Watermen: Brian Keaulana, Mel Pu’u, Titus Kinkimaka and OluKai Konohiki (caretaker) Archie Kalepa. The tribute started with a "Talk Story" session at Surfer The Bar in the lobby of the Turtle Bay Resort on Friday evening. While heavy rain squalls and stormy surf rattled away outside, Titus Kinimaka and his band jammed rock classics in the lobby. An international crowd of stand up paddle surfers, in town for the The Sunset Beach Pro, gathered, mingled and caught up with each other. The crowd then funneled into Surfer ,The Bar for drinks, food and the "Talk Story" session with the Legends.

    "Talk Story" is a term for a casual gathering and sharing of stories, reminiscing of good times and communication of perspectives with some added humor. It was amazing to hear Brian and Mel tell tales of the early days of water safety during the Triple Crown of Surfing, before Brian came up with the idea of using jet skis for safety. Sitting in the channel on large paddleboards, they would swoop in as fast as they physically could to help surfers in danger, just to get pummeled by the large surf with them. Titus then went on to share, in detail, the story of Christmas morning, 1989. While surfing gigantic surf at Waimea Bay, Titus pulled into the tube on an 20 -footer, got hit by the lip and broke his right femur, near the hip. Kinimaka went into shock while floating and had to wait in the channel, supported by a small group of surfers for about 45 minutes before the rescue helicopter arrived. The candor and humor with which Titus spoke about the incident had the audience gasping and applauding simultaneously. Archie then went on to recall the early days of jet-ski assisted big wave surfing at Peahi (Jaws) on Maui . Dangerously using slow, small engined skis and bulky live vests not meant for surfing. It was inspiring to hear Archie talk about being the first person to stand-up paddle the Ka‘iwi Channel (Moloka‘i to O‘ahu) with all the prone paddlers in 2004 as the only one standing. And how in 2013, there were over 200 stand-up paddlers joining him in the channel crossing!

    The next morning, the Legends joined an energetic group of 40 kids from Nā Kama Kai, a non-profit organization that teaches keiki about water safety and ocean conservation, at Kuilima Bay at Turtle Bay. The keiki were divided up and rotated through different learning circuits: canoe paddling and surfing with Mel, SUP paddling with Archie, water safety with Brian and SUP surfing with Titus. Other members of the SUP community joined in the teaching process including professional waterman Kai Lenny.

    The weekend marked the beginning of the Stand Up World Tour with the Sunset Beach Pro waiting period running from February 8th - 16th, conditions permitting. Watch the men and women battle it out at WatermanLeague.com

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